His Web and the Spider In It
Summary: No one could deny that Sherlock Holmes's homeless network was useless. It was wide and spread all over London. It didn't only have adults either. One-Shot, starts when Sherlock first starts to build his web until John enters the picture.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters used in this story
Warnings: various states of despair, crime scenes, abuse past and present
He twisted, causing an uncomfortable click in his back, and narrowed his eyes. There was somebody there, in the shadows of the huge column which reached towards the heavens. He pressed his back against the cold stone wall which had kept the secret of his presence for some time now, biting his lower lip to keep a pained hiss from escaping between his lips. He counted the footsteps which seemed to be in line with his heartbeat. Another and another and the man, because the footfalls were too heavy to belong to a woman, was getting closer to his hiding spot.
A rat shot away from the other side of the room and someone cursed loudly, sucking the air into their lounges through their teeth. The image of a beefy man with an angry red face and dangerously glittering eyes appeared in the forefront of his mind. He hunched forward, curling into an awkward ball when memories of those fatal nights spent in the house he had been banned from. Left discarded on the side of the road, chocking on his own blood that continued to fill his mouth all night long. Shivering from the cold which clung to his body he opened his mouth in an effort to replace the copper taste with fresh air which was polluted with human sweat and vomit but still a whole lot better. The copper taste didn't disappear though and some of his saliva started to drip down his chin.
"Best close your mouth unless you want the flies getting inside it," a gruff voice said making his head snap up. An elderly looking man was standing in front of him, his blue eyes pale and weary but friendly nonetheless. His long warm looking coat was brown from dirt and grime but the faded blue scarf looked remarkably new. Or at least newish. He sniffed, crinkling his sun-browned nose, and long, dirty fingers rubbed the side of his nose creating a smear of something black and grimy.
With an audible click he closed his mouth which had widened a little further on the sight of the man and he shuffled a little further away. "Too small, weary, underfed and dehydrated," the man muttered seemingly to himself. Keeping an eye on the man without looking too suspicious he fought not to fiddle with the fabric which seemed to have found its way in between his fingers. "You had some water sixteen hours ago?" It was only half a question, but it seemed like the older man was speaking about him. Why had he seen him? Bothered with him?
"Average in intelligence," the older man muttered to himself as he crouched down, rummaging through the pocket of his dirty, brown coat. "Although it is hard to tell if you refuse to speak. Silence can be a useful tool of course."
He wanted to turn away in shame because it was obvious the man was talking about him now. "So are you deliberately mute or is it something else?"
A spark of anger ignited in his chest and filled him with a sense of stupid bravery. He stared the older man squire in the eyes through narrowed green eyes and, after a heartbeat, opened his mouth wide. The muscle twitched numbly and there was an odd sense of loss as the cold air hit the sensitive wounds. The older man's mouth formed a small 'oh' staring blankly at the empty space where his tongue was supposed to be. "Of course, there's always something," the older man muttered before giving the younger boy a small smile and withdrew his hand from his pocket. He held a bottle of clear water, seemingly unopened and held it out to the younger boy.
The raven head hesitated for a moment, closing his mouth when shame settled into his stomach but hope lingered, a hope that the older man was indeed kind enough to give him the water. So when the man gave an exasperated sigh all but throwing the bottle in his direction the small boy snatched it up and clutched it to his chest.
"Your sense of caution astounds me," the older man muttered straightening slightly. He appeared younger in that moment, as if the simple - seemingly kind – gesture de-aged him by at least half. His pale blue eyes stared down at him for a long while. "Let's say we play a game, you and I?"
He looked up with weary interest. No-one had asked them to play with him before. Shrugging his shoulders he waited for the older man - who didn't appear so old anymore - to continue. The man gave a faint smile and crouched down. "The city of London is quite large but for someone your size it could be the largest playground in your lifetime. If you can find me within this city I can show you an even larger playground. And there is some food in it for you as well."
Food might be an afterthought for this man but for him the mere mention of it send his empty stomach growling hungrily. "Yes I do believe you will. I will see you-" the man gave him a once over "-yes, a month should be just about enough time."
For some reason this made him want to prove the man wrong so desperately.
By the time he found some kind of trace of the man who had promised him food the raven head was hungrier than before and almost ready to give in. It was clear that the man had wanted him to remain relatively unknown to anyone so after three days of searching and finding nothing the raven head cunningly dropped a line to the older crowd. Just one noticed him scurrying around and the man offered him a few cold chips and some stale bread. When it appeared that the child would run off should he ask awkward questions the man had offered to keep his secrets. Together they managed to create a language for the raven head to use consisting of bangs and taps, lip movements and hand signals. Or rather, the man did a few suggestions and after three examples the child created the rest.
Later on he had become distracted once more because of a small run-in with the uniforms. Or men that looked like they should belong to the uniforms. By this time two full weeks had passed and he had become reckless in his search for the man with the pale blue eyes. He didn't often seek out the busy street during the day for they usually let to grabby hands, annoyed eyes and rude words. No, the night held a much easier playground. Drunken men and women leaving food and drinks, sometimes money or clothes, for him to pick up. He would stay away from the men and women who smelled like soap and money. He wouldn't have thought money could smell of anything, but after four months on the cold streets of London he had developed a nose for every smell. Everything was different now anyway, ever since that night.
He shuddered at the memory, the ghost feel of blood filling his mouth and making it overflow. Scrubbing away at his chin the raven head gazed wearily at the man sitting inside seemingly studying something under a strange device. He had never seen anything like it before, but then he had no need for such things. He only needed things to fill his stomach, things to keep his body warm and to keep away from the men and women in uniform. It would seem strange to any other but something inside of him knew, if he were to go to the men and women in uniform, they would take him back. Back to the screaming woman, back to the crying child, back to the man who had taken his tongue.
There was a rhythm to his language, like a heartbeat which pulsed through the city. He would often close his eyes late at night and listen to the heartbeat drumming away. Sometimes it would make him cry when the drumming caused an ache in his body that had nothing to do with hunger but everything to do with pain and fear. Sometimes it make him skip and wiggle and dance happily. And sometimes, when the streets were lined with blood and screams, he crawled away in his safety corner and listen to the still and silent humming of voices which seemed to come from far away.
Now that he had found the man with the pale blue eyes he would share the secret of the drum, the pulsing of the city, the rhythm to his language.
He almost hadn't approached the man for he looked like one of them, the people in uniform. And he didn't like the clean floors that weren't made of the usual hard stone and the strange lights seemed to shine too brightly for him. There were a lot of people here too, men and women who smelled of soap and chalk and burning things. It made his nose itch.
The man with the blue eyes was dressed in a suit and he smelled like ink and burning things. His long hands, no longer dirty and grimy like before, were pale and long, almost spider-like. They ghosted over paper and instruments, never lingering in the same position for too long. His upper-body remained straight all this time, never once slouching or fidgeting, his long legs planted firmly on the floor. The man seemed completely unaware of anything else going on around him and yet when the raven head approached the older man gave a slight tilt of his head in his direction.
"It didn't take you as long as I thought it would," the man muttered, his pale blue eyes still firmly fixed on whatever was on the end of his machine.
Tapping three times with his finger on the cold table before giving it a good knock the raven head gave to taps with his toes before two with his heel and one firm slam with his whole foot. Pale blue fixated on him, assessing him sharply as if receiving answers by merely looking at his dishevelled state. The older man hummed thoughtfully. "Yes I guess you would do anything for food."
With a frown the raven head shook his head before pointing at the man he had been trying to find for over two weeks before tapping his temple and crossing his arms across his chest.
The older man was silent for a while. "Wouldn't knowing the person first be more practical before deciding on working with them?"
Giving the man an unimpressed look the boy ticked at his temple once more with a slight smirk.
"Interesting," the older man said, his own smirk gracing his features. "How did you find out?"
Sighing in exasperation he set out to tell the tale in signs when the man handed him a piece of paper and a pen. The raven head stared at them blankly, unsure how to hold onto the pen as he had never written with one before. "So you knew how to speak before losing your tongue as is clear by your understanding of the English language and how you build your language scheme but you had not been educated beyond that. How interesting."
A blush rose to his cheeks but he continued to hold onto the pen and paper as if holding onto a treasure. He placed the tip which smelled like ink onto the paper only to struggle against the light paper, drawing faint lines on the off-white. Frowning a little he thought on how to make the pen create clearer lines on the paper he dropped to the floor gracefully, tucking his feet to pillow under his bottom and placed the paper on his upper legs. Carefully the raven head set the pen on the paper once more and started with a semi-straight line down. The blue line was quickly surrounded by multiple of various sizes and shapes.
Thoroughly distracted with the equipment he almost missed the faint footsteps coming in their direction. Shooting up from his slightly hunched position he turned his head in the direction on the doors, his ears twitching when they took in the sounds. Human, male, heavy build, worn sole, weary step, low on money. Two minutes to get away. Windows are ruled out as is the hallway. He stared up at the ceiling before making a hurried decision. Turning back to the man he had chosen to work for he nodded, tapping the floor rapidly with his fingers before giving it two distinct knocks.
"But we're not done yet," the blue eyed man said, clearly a little annoyed.
The raven head bowed low in apology before darting away, shooting up the closets before reaching for the ceiling. He disappeared just in time, making his way past the pipes without making a sound, navigating his way through the labyrinth before finally reaching the outdoors again. He climbed his way up onto the rooftops and hit himself in the arches – out of sight. He would wait until dark before approaching the man again now he knew for sure where the man was.
It would take him an hour before he realised that he had left behind the pen and paper.
He hadn't really wanted to follow the man to his apartment but when he had noticed the left behind gifts and his lack of rewards the raven head couldn't help it. So he waited and listened and watched until the blue eyed man exited the building. Following in the shadows was easy in the darkness of the night, but it was rush hour meaning that there were too many people for his comfort. He couldn't afford to lose sight of the man though so he donned his black cloak – the one he had found not long after he had been tossed onto the streets – and weaved his way skilfully past all the rushing people.
To his surprise – though he wasn't sure what he could expect with the blue eyed man – they made their way to the more wealthy side of London and the older man vanished into one of the houses. He swallowed and waited in the shadows between the houses across the road. Did he really want to get involved with a man like that?
With the lights on the house looked like any other but so had the house he had been banned from. It had looked like all the others in the street: squire, white and with a neat little garden. But the man had not appeared to be like the beefy man with the purple face. He had spoken with disinterest curiosity and an indifference which had put him at ease rather than put him off. It was what had interested him in the first place, what had called out to him to prove that he was useful and good at playing games. So the raven head gathered his courage and, when no-one was looking, snuck into the house of the man who he was willing to work for.
The confrontation would leave him even more scarred and weary than he had been before stepping over the threshold. Of course the scuffle didn't last long and he must have won a sort of grudging respect from the older man because the blue eyed man looked like he was about to give him his reward there on the spot.
"It seems you have more uses than I originally thought," the older man said, taking his seat in a leather armchair while taking up the violin which had been placed on the coffee table before his entrée. "That cloak of yours appears to be a wonderful tool."
The raven head inclined his head in thanks before signalling with his feet. A look of irritation flashed across his blue eyes and the child took half a step back into the shadows of the room. "Such a bothersome reaction. I had already deduced your finding it as it was not all that difficult. You are hardly in the position to buy such a well-crafted cloth or to have received it from someone as a gift, so ergo you most have come across it somewhere and simply taken it."
Flustered and angry a series of rapid taps and grunts followed but the older man simply rolled his eyes. "I didn't accuse you of stealing, although if you are so adverse to the idea I may have chosen the wrong person after all."
He stilled, staring at the blue eyed man in a state of light shock. Did that mean that the man wanted him?
Taking the silence for what it was the man started plucking at his violin in a distracted manner. "Should you be willing-" blue eyes looked at him briefly and the raven head straightened making the man smile minutely "-I expect to see a rise in your skillset. You're young enough to learn and the fact that you were able to make such an intricate language on your own is quite astonishing. It shows a level quite above that of a goldfish."
Confused as to why he would resemble a goldfish he left the unspoken question for what it was and concentrated on what the blue eyed man could possibly want from him. And would he still get his reward? His stomach betrayed him at that moment and shame mixed with irritation. Why did it need to draw attention now, when he was just about to get the rules of the game?
"It seems that was to be expected," the blue eyed man said and at that moment the doorbell rang loudly through the apartment. The raven head startled and backed away into the corner, already turning towards the nearest escape path when the older man gestured for him to stay. "Right on time." And he disappeared into the hallway. As the front door opened, a mouth-watering scent drifted into the room causing saliva to fill his mouth and tease the corners of his lips when the stream found hardly any resistance. Swallowing quickly the raven head lowered himself onto the floor next to the highest table and waited expectantly.
"Your reward for a game well played," the man said as he re-entered the room with a paper bag. The raven head watched patiently for the man to finish preparing the meal knowing that he would only be allowed to eat what was left after the man had taken what he wanted. He startled when the older man gave him an annoyed glance. "You will eat whilst seated at the table. I do not care in what kind of hovel you were raised in, this is something every human being should understand."
Unsure what the man meant he signalled his confusion and uncertainty on his place at the table. The man looked at him for a long while after this and he fidgeted at the intense gaze of those pale blue eyes. "Digesting slows me down. Should you wish to eat in my presence do so while seated at the table."
He nodded in partial understanding and carefully approached the table. When it appeared that the man would indeed not eat he took a seat and cautiously start to nibble at the food. While his sense of taste had completely disappeared the scent was something he could still take pleasure from and the heat of the meal warmed his belly pleasantly. The man did not speak while he ate, long fingers plucking at the strings of the violin while pale blue eyes stared out into the distance.
The silence between them was comforting and he grew used to the distracted plucking of the violin which became a piece in itself. It was beautiful and humbling. Never had he heard something like it before. The woman from before never really played any music and the television would often blast loudly through the living room when the chubby boy watched programs. With the beefy man there were only jingles, never music like the blue eyed man was making now. He found himself staring while he ate, trying to memorise the tune in his head so he would have something to think back on. It might make sleeping easier or even create a small bit of light in his, sometimes, grey days.
"That's it," the man suddenly said causing the raven head to jump back and skitter towards the door. "You – I have a job for you… what do they call you?"
Frowning while trying to remember if they had ever called him anything else. He slowly shook his head and made a sweeping motion with his hand.
"That's not a proper name," the man muttered scrutinising him from where he was standing by the table. "What about Colobert?"
Green eyes widened in shock. What kind of… did that mean that he…? His heart was beating so fast he was sure it was about to jump out of his chest. "This is mine?" he signalled uncertainly.
"That was the point," the man said sounding exasperated. "Boy is hardly a name to call someone of the male gender. It would create confusion."
"What now, Mr Holmes?" Colobert signalled moving back into the sight of the room. The older man gave a small smirk and his eyes sparked with something that brought his pale blue eyes to life. Sherlock Holmes looked ready to play the game.
Working for Sherlock Holmes was difficult and fun. Colobert was sure the man didn't actually care all that much for him, but the raven head didn't mind. He would continue to fill the man's requests even if it meant that he wouldn't be able to eat for days on end or often got injured in the process. The longer he worked for Mr Holmes the more he improved and found that he could take pride in the things he did. And while he learned a great deal about stealth and information gathering Colobert also learned to read and write. His own language improved with these lessons and after a year of intensive study he learned to appreciate the written word and could make advanced structures which seemed to please Mr Holmes a lot.
Any other skills he learned, like mathematics and the basics of all sciences, was pure coincidental.
It was just over a year later that Colobert met Mr Holmes's brother. He had planned to wait until the man had left before giving Mr Holmes the information but the pretty lady had found him and brought him inside. She had dark ebony hair and her brown eyes were warm when she looked down at him. She didn't smile and her face was as impassive as that of Mr Holmes at times, but her voice was soft and kind. "I do believe Mr Holmes is waiting for you."
She took care not to touch him, but Colobert was used to that. He was used to people shying away from him because of the blood on his clothes and the dark and dirt which clung to him no matter how many times he washed. Mr Holmes didn't mind overly much, though he did let him use the bathroom when Colobert returned with his report. But no matter how used he was to being ignored he felt woefully underdressed – almost embarrassed – as he walked next to her, so he let her enter the house first and closed the door behind them.
The man who was standing in the living room had a scary look about him. His umbrella hooked on his arm, his posture stiff and reserved, his eyes frosted. Everything about the man screamed secrets and the smell of money, soap and cigarettes clung to him. This was the type of man Colobert usually ran from. His weary approach into the room made a smirk appear on Mr Holmes's face and with one look the man's demeanour changed. He was still cold and calculating but less intimidating. It didn't make Colobert less weary but the urge to flee left him.
"So this is your little scoundrel who has been scurrying around for you," the imposing man said his voice neutral like he didn't care either way what the answer was.
"It's all voluntary of course," Mr Holmes replied. Colobert signalled if it was alright for him to stay and when Mr Holmes nodded his consent – both ignoring the flash of interest which sparked in the eyes of the strange man – the raven head stepped into the kitchen to claim his reward food all the while keeping a sharp eye on the man with the umbrella.
The man scoffed and turned away from the child. "A bit young, don't you think dear brother? What if someone comes looking for him?"
"No-one will come," Colobert interrupted to sooth any worries Mr Holmes might have in that regard. Not that the man had worried about it before, but then he probably would have already known. It wasn't like anyone had come looking for him after all this time.
"And there you have it," Mr Holmes said while turning away from the man to pick up his violin as he often did when Colobert was around. "Now if you do not mind, Mycroft, I have a case to solve."
"Ah yes, how is the project going?" he said it wearily for the first time and as he eyed his brother carefully the newly identified Mycroft actually tried to block the child from the conversation. Moving to block Mr Holmes from his vision caused Colobert to be even more alert though and the raven head slipped out of his seat and silently made his way back to the living room. He had become strangely attached to the man who offered him food and moments of shelter in exchange for information. Should anyone wish to come between Mr Holmes and him, well… he wouldn't let that happen.
"Do take care not to worry mother, Sherlock. We do not want a repeat of what happened five years ago," Mycroft murmured before casting a disinterest look at the child by his side - his eyes lingering on every detail of Colobert's face - before finally turning to leave with a wave of his hand. Without another word both man and woman disappeared from the apartment as Mr Holmes started to play, his shoulders tense until they heard the front door click shut.
Colobert waited for Mr Holmes until he was ready to hear his report, letting the older man's symphony wash over him with a sense of delight. He felt privileged, hearing the man play, but he knew that once the symphony ended his time with the man was up. So he moved around the little apartment like a ghost, eating his dinner and drinking his water, washing the dirt away from his body and mending the tear in his trousers.
It wasn't long after he had fallen asleep that Sherlock Holmes stopped playing, looked down at the boy who was sleeping in his favourite chair before sighing in annoyance and moving away to occupy the one remaining chair. He lit up a cigarette and continued to mull over his thoughts while he waited for the raven haired child to awaken.
It was nearing summer when Mr Holmes finally contacted him again and in that half year he had been forced out of London on a number of occasions. Those months had been frightening and worrying and he had spent a great many nights with an empty, rumbling belly and when the nights had been cold the raven head had nearly frozen to death. The days had gone by agonisingly slow and he caught himself falling back into old routines.
At the turning of the season he finally snapped out of his fear and made his way back into London. He was determent to not disappoint Mr Holmes and while the man had frightened him into retreating from the city in the first place, Colobert was also grateful to the man who had given him an opportunity to feel alive. So he returned to London but not to Mr Holmes. He didn't dare return there just yet. Instead he found a place where he could learn a great many things. It was a large building, very old and filled with books. Yes he would stay here to learn the things Mr Holmes had inspired him to learn.
Unknown to Colobert people did search for him.
As it was, two years had passed since eight-year-old Harry James Potter disappeared from his aunt's house in Little Whinging, Surrey and it was nearing the time of his return to the Wizarding World. While the night of his disappearance was clouded in mystery and erased memories, only one remembered that there ever was a Harry Potter who lived at number 4 of Privet Drive. Dudley Dursley had always wondered what happened to his little cousin with the scary green eyes and the freaky hair. Because no matter how hard he had tried to push his cousin away the fact that he had disappeared – memories of him and all – had concerned Dudley Dursley to the point of not eating. His mother and father had tried everything, even resorted to family counselling sessions with a psychiatrist, but nothing seemed to help.
And so, when the letter addressed to Harry James Potter returned to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry unopened and undelivered, Minerva McGonagall brought her concerns to the current headmaster Albus Dumbledore. Both Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape visited the former residence of Harry Potter and both returned empty handed, their skin prickling with the residue magics still lingering in the area. Neither had questioned Dudley Dursley and neither had found a trace of the missing Boy-Who-Lived. Not even Arabella Figg, who had been requested to keep an eye on the young hero, had memories of the boy ever living there. When Albus Dumbledore returned to the neighbourhood he had left Harry Potter at so many nights ago he found the altered memories and the residue magics but not even his spells could break the curse.
It was then that the wizarding society started their active search for the little boy hero. It unearthed a lot of secrets. Sirius Black wasn't the only person to ever be imprisoned inside Azkaban without a trial and a great many members of the Wizengamot – and even the Minister for Magic! – were found guilty of embezzlement and bribery. Some secrets from the last War had even come to light but they had easily been kept out of the papers.
The uproar it caused in Magical Britain washed across to the mundane world and Mycroft Holmes found himself working twice as hard to maintain the balance between both worlds.
And all the while Colobert remained hidden inside his sanctuary.
The woman looked at him with frightened large eyes, vomit dripping down her chin as she fought her hardest against the drug which was slowly killing her. Tears mixed with the black paint which lined her eyes causing black tracks like dirt lines to appear at the side of her cheeks. She sputtered a little, her breathing heavy and another wave of vomit followed. It looked like she wanted to speak, all the while scratching with her nails into the wooden flooring. Her odd, pink fingernails.
Colobert watched silently as the woman died in front of him. He had snuck up the disused chimney when he had heard two people – older man, slight limp, shabby, purpose in his step and a young woman, scared, high heeled, stumbling – enter the house he had taken refuge in for the night. He had heard them muttering, sobbing, laughing. They were both smart, clever like Mr Holmes. Colobert could tell just by hearing them speak. But now that the man had left and the woman seemed to be dying the raven head had lowered himself from the chimney into the hearth. She had looked surprised, scared, understanding and pitiful. Colobert remained sitting in the empty hearth until she laid her head on the wooden floor and closed her eyes, gasping and coughing till she turned blue.
The raven head waited by her side even if he knew that she wouldn't wake and he studied her still body with a strange fascination. Colobert knew that his parents were dead, he knew because the woman he had lived with before had reminded him more than once that they had died and that he had been left on their doorstep because of it. But now that he looked at the woman, pretty as she was, had his mother looked like that? Lips blue and crushing vomit spackled down her chin, eyes closed and hair tangled, neat and proper even in death.
But he had lingered too long and hastily made his escape just as he heard the police sirens nearing his shelter. He slipped through the window and skittering down the drainpipe, slipping a few times on his way down before finally sprinting off down the alleyway when he reached the bottom. Colobert was frustrated that his hiding spot had been taken over by police people so while he wandered the streets of London he waited. There was something wrong with the way the woman died after all, and when things were wrong in the world Sherlock Holmes looked for the answers to set them right.
The call came quicker than Colobert had expected and when he finally reached the man he was flustered from running. There was something different about Mr Holmes. The man appeared younger, his long coat swerving around him like Colobert's cloak sometimes did and there was an energetic smirk on his face. "Ah! Colobert," Mr Holmes greeted, his pale blue eyes sparkling. "I noticed your presence at the crime scene. Not to worry, our good detective hasn't noticed a thing as always. Now, I need a pink suitcase."
"Like the Lady?" Colobert signalled and when Mr Holmes's smirk widened into an almost grin the child signalled the man to follow. It didn't take him look to find it again and the praise he received for it brought a pleased smile to his face.
"Come with me Colobert," Mr Holmes said with a twinkle in his eyes. "You most likely already know where I reside."
"The lady will not like the experiments," Colobert signalled confirming that he knew about Baker Street and its occupants. He covered the suitcase with his cloak and they made their way towards the new residence.
"And what do you make of the doctor?"
Colobert frowned, trying to remember what the man had looked like. "Why did the doctor have a walking stick?"
They slipped in between the houses, crossed a few intersections by roof before making their way down onto Baker Street. "You will have to ask our doctor Watson that," Mr Holmes replied as they arrived at number 221. They stopped before the café and for a moment Colobert thought the man was going to ask him inside. Wide green eyes stared up into pale blue and a shiver of fear caused his breathing to hitch. Standing on the street, exposed and ready to be taken. Heart hammering in his throat he fought the urge to flee. His instincts were screaming at him but the raven head wanted to stand beside Mr Holmes who had scared him before but always looked after him.
"Get in," Mr Holmes said after a long sigh gesturing towards number 221B. He didn't need to be told twice and with a grateful smile he took off, skittering through the alley, the back wall and the back window. It was easy to get into number 221B, something which wouldn't do at all. So while Mr Holmes was away, Colobert applied his skills with a small smirk. He would make sure that no one else would ever be able to get in the way he did. Only the front door would be open.
If Mr Holmes noticed when he returned with dinner the man certainly didn't comment on it, he simply placed the food on the table and made his way to the suitcase which Colobert had placed on the low table by the fireplace. Colobert ate slowly as he watched Mr Holmes, wondering if the man would pick up his violin. Secretly he hoped for it but he knew the man. Mr Holmes did what he wanted when he wanted. So Mr Holmes brooded over the suitcase, Colobert ate and the hour grew later.
The raven head was all but sleeping at the table when Doctor Watson finally limped into the apartment. It took the child completely by surprise and he startled under the table drawing the attention from Mr Holmes. Colobert gazed at the doctor from under the table, curious about the man who walked with the stick. He seemed friendly, homely even, but there was a sort of danger about the man that Colobert recognised. It made him anxious.
"Ah John, right on time," Mr Holmes quipped snapping his attention away from the suitcase for a few second to look at the army doctor.
"I-is that the pink lady's suitcase?" Watson asked and Colobert couldn't keep the smile of his face. He signalled quietly before catching himself. What was it with this man that made him throw caution into the wind?
It drew Doctor Watson's attention as well and brown eyes widened in shock after finding Colobert under the table. "Is that a child?"
"You really are one for pointless questions," Mr Holmes quipped with a smirk before explaining about the suitcase to distract the doctor from Colobert, something the raven head was grateful for. He still wasn't used to being in the company of others, only really able to stand Mr Holmes's presence because the man had accepted him long before Colobert was even aware of it.
He continued to observe the doctor from beneath the table, watching the two adults interact with bated breath. Their interaction was foreign, something he hadn't seen before. Because when Mr Holmes and his brother had talked there had been tension and annoyance. With Mr Holmes and Doctor Watson it was something else. Friendly, awkward, confused and something Colobert couldn't identify. It was something no book could ever teach him, but should he stay with Sherlock Holmes and John Watson he would learn it from them.
Having seen enough the raven head snuck out of the apartment and for once someone noticed his disappearance and set out to look for him. Sherlock stopped John before the army doctor could rush out of the apartment with a reassuring 'he will be back'.
It was boring, not working for Mr Holmes and it filled him with a longing to be in the man's presence. But what could he do when Mr Holmes was distracted by a case?
Colobert smiled when he spotted the strangely dressed people again. He had noticed them before of course; they weren't very hard to miss. This time Colobert's curiosity peaked when he noticed the suspicious sign of a pub that he couldn't have missed before. The strange people entered but never really returned, and if they did it was usually hours later. So this time he decided he would crack this mystery once and for all.
It was late at night when Colobert was sure there couldn't be any people left in the pub that he sneaked inside the Leaky Cauldron. He found more people than he had anticipated but they didn't notice him entering, or if they did they didn't let it show. The pub was a strange place and while Colobert had known that before entering the pub, being confronted with it was a completely different thing entirely. It made his skin tingle and all his instincts screamed to run while a part of him was convinced that this was home. This was where he belonged.
Colobert shook his head before a smirk appeared, his green eyes sparkling in the semi-dark. Observing this place would be easy and with the information he gathered Mr Holmes would be most pleased. Of that he was sure. Because no matter what, Sherlock Holmes liked playing the game.
A/N: I can't believe it, I've finally finished. I could cry this was so annoying to write. Sherlock was a pain to write about. How did you like my ending :P